Until recently, Class A motorhome buyers have had only two principal choices when selecting the type of chassis their motorhome would be built on: front engine-based gas models that top out somewhere above $200,000, or rear-engine diesel-pushers that begin retailing short of a gasser’s higher end, but range significantly upward from there.
Fortunately, a couple of revolutionary new concepts in chassis design have essentially doubled the chassis choices for new Class A motorhomes — without the traditionally high costs normally accompanying many of their benefits. Cost is one thing, however; performance is another matter entirely. During a recent odyssey into one of the West Coast’s numerous national forests, we had the opportunity to discover how well one of the first manufacturers to build on one of these new frameworks — Freightliner’s front-engine diesel (FRED) — was able to adapt to the new underpinnings. The coach in question, Tiffin Motorhomes’ new Allegro Bay 37QDB, made our “experiment” all the more interesting, in that this line was previously only available with a gas chassis.
Tiffin’s sprawling 37QDB quad-slide floorplan begins with an open front living room, followed by a large galley and dining area of generous proportions. Connecting the front areas to the rear of the coach is a streetside aisle that provides access to a single-door bathroom and the master bedroom. The Allegro Bay 37QDB is priced at a comparatively reasonable $152,010 base msrp. With roughly $16,000 worth of options added to the unit, the as-tested price of $168,600 still puts this coach in the ballpark for many who heretofore did not think they could afford a diesel.
If you’ve longed for the power, economy and reliability of a diesel motorhome, but haven’t quite been able to come to terms with the price of such coaches, Tiffin’s feature-laden Allegro Bay 37QDB floorplan, built atop a robust Freightliner front-engine diesel chassis, may just be the answer. Whether full-timer, weekender, sometimer or anywhere in between, there is a lot to like about this well-built, potent and reasonably priced performer. For complete details and full test impressions of Tiffin’s Allegro Bay 37QDB, pick up the January 2007 issue of MotorHome magazine on the newsstand — then subscribe to MotorHome so you can stay informed on the latest motorhome tests, previews, technical information, products, travel destinations and more.